For years I’ve hoped for some real research about how and why groups work. Yours feels the most accessible. Thank you for putting the time into it – it’s going to bless a bunch of people. I’m not being polite when I say this – but if a person was only going to buy one book on small groups, I’d direct them to yours!
Executive pastor of ministries at Crossings Community Church, author of Essential Guide for Small Group Leaders and Simple Small Groups.
This book speaks visionary truth with empowering grace. By combining fascinating real-life research with insightful questions, thoughtful analysis, compelling models, and pragmatic recommendations, this is a unique and valuable resource for small group leaders and ministries seeking to grow life-giving, thriving communities.
Small Groups Pastor at Calvary Community Church in Westlake Village, CA, editorial advisor and host of “GroupTalk,” a podcast for the global Small Group Network.
Small group ministries are the great conundrum in most American churches. Everybody says they’re vital, but few have figured out how to make them actually work. Frankly, we’ve been given too much theory and idealism and not enough research highlighting the best practices that really work. This book will be a great help to the church at large.
Pastor at North Coast Church, and author of Sticky Church
Based on rock-solid research, this gem unearths the strengths and weaknesses of many small group ministries, and offers assessment tools to evaluate your ministry. But, most of all, this is a leadership book. When leaders read and apply Leading Small Groups That Thrive, they’ll grow into effective, confident, transformational disciple-makers.
Rick Howerton, small group expert, author, and church planter of The Bridge Church.
The staggering amount of research in this book has been used to create practical, doable takeaways for anyone in small group leadership who wants to see the people in their groups thrive.I’m SO thankful this book is now available to leaders.
Want to learn the secrets of sustainable momentum to overcome groups that struggle, limp along, and eventually sputter out? This outstanding book is chock full of fresh insights, practical tools, and a powerful roadmap that can lead any group to the next level. If you’ve ever wondered how to cast a compelling vision for small group life that equips existing leaders and raises up new ones, this is a must-read! I can’t wait to get this into the hands of our leaders!
lead pastor of Liquid Church and author of Liquid Church
On a nearly daily basis, our small group team at Saddleback Church is inundated with questions from small group point people, lead pastors, and small group leaders from all around the world.They all want to know: How can I improve my small group ministry? I’m grateful for this book that provides great answers to the questions small group leaders consistently ask. Based on robust research and the science behind what makes groups work, this book lays out an actionable plan to take your group from barely surviving to thriving. It’s my pleasure to commend it to you.
pastor of small groups at Saddleback Church and author of Planning Small Groups with Purpose
Since the church was born, small groups have always been a vital part of Christianity, and they will only become more important in the future. This book is a gift to God’s family, filled with resources to give you the right foundation and practice for thriving small groups.
author and Bible commentator, Enduring Word
This fresh, powerful book is gold. Both engaging and informative, it shows small groups that thrive and empowers leaders to move their groups to greater health. It delivers well on its promise to provide a research-driven and practical resource that small group leaders can train both existing and new leaders. Seasoned leaders will be surprised by the new insights that the book brings out.
Warren Bird & Michelle C. Bird
Warren Bird Ph.D., is co-author of 32 books for church leaders including Nine Keys to Effective Small-Group Leadership. Michelle C. Bird, M.S. Ed. is small group co-leader and trainer for more than thirty years
This book combines thoughtful insights with actionable advice to take your group’s ministry to the next level. It sets the bar for making groups that actually drive towards transformation. This book would be a perfect resource to train all the group leaders and apprentices in your church!
This book is for anyone leading, or thinking about leading, a small group of any kind! Based on research and experience, the authors show how to utilize the best small group practices to create the greatest opportunity for spiritual growth. Leading Small Groups That Thrive is a helpful, accessible, and much-needed resource for the church.
author and coordinator of women’s initiatives for The Gospel Coalition
Leading Small Groups That Thriveis an important book for all of us who realize that the church is not an event, but a community with a cause! Ryan, Courtney, and Jason combine passion for small groups with solid research, real-life stories and practical tools to show us how to get good at groups. If you want to know how to make disciples and foster genuine Biblical community then this is a must read!
pastor, lead visionary for NewThing, and author of Hero Maker
All of us are looking for practical tips on how to be better group leaders and help the people we lead take their next spiritual steps. Leading Small Groups that Thrive does just that, but it also provides research and real-world examples from proven practitioners to back it up. Whether you are a seasoned small groups leader or a future one, this book will help you be a better leader.
small groups specialist at LifeWay, and author of Leading Small Groups
We are at a time in our culture where people are extremely divided. We’re apt to communicate based on labels, we have shorter attention spans, and we’ve been conditioned through social media to block and delete. Leading Small Groups That Thrive could not be more timely. Your office, church, and organization need these pages in order to reach your potential.
Dr. Heather Thompson Day
interdenominational speaker, and writer for the Barna Group.
Inspirational. Catalytic. Strategic. Read this book to discover key questions, powerful mindset shifts, and essential leader habits for a flourishing small groups ministry.
D. Scott Barfoot
PhD, director of the D.Min. program at Dallas Theological Seminary
After serving 30 years on staff with Cru, I know how small groups can be “hit or miss.” I’ve also seen firsthand how powerful and transformational groups can be, too. A great resource for established and new leaders to grow in their abilities to confidently lead groups for individual growth and spiritual health, I am excited to recommend this book for church and parachurch ministry leaders.
author, and host of Someday is Here podcast
This is an excellent tool that combines solid research and practical steps. With role strengths assessments, stages of group development, sample agendas and so much more, it’s an A to Z resource for being an effective small group leader. I wish that I had this book in the early days of my ministry. This gets the leader and group on the right track for interaction and growth.
Dr. David Fletcher
Developed by several real-life practitioners, this is not theoretical or philosophical. Instead, you’ll find practical help to take your small group to the next level and instruction that will help make life change happen.
groups pastor at Canyon Ridge Christian Church
Leading Small Groups that Thrive delightfully combines solid research, practical insights, and helpful suggestions to help leaders grow their leadership and group. Group leaders, grab this book and start with the chapters most relevant to you and your group right now. Let those chapters encourage and guide you. Then move onto the others. Each chapter will give you fresh insights and solid guidance to help you center your group on Christ and His purposes.
small group enthusiast and author
Too often small group leaders in churches, colleges, and parachurch ministries are either overconfident in their abilities or completely terrified that they’re ill-equipped to lead. Leading Small Groups That Thrive provides data-driven insights for leaders at all stages while demystifying the “it” factor of thriving groups through its concise yet comprehensive design. It is hard to find a single resource that is as committed to articulating the purpose of small groups in the life of the church, mining research on group development, and approaching leadership coaching through a pragmatic lens. This is a transformational resource that carries the potential to stir a much needed slow, steady, and sustained revival in the church, parachurch, and university, today.
dean of spiritual life at Azusa Pacific University
With careful research and pastoral warmth, Ryan, Courtney and Jason help us fire up the engine of groups. They help you build an infrastructure on which you can hang a robust small groups ministry. But this is more than another “groups” book. This is a book about leadership; the irreducible minimum for small groups that thrive. If you want your “small group” to thrive at church, the office or home, here is a team with the professional expertise and personal experience to help you get there.
lead pastor at Foothill Church
Leading Small Groups That Thrive is not just a book on the topic of small groups; rather, it is a must-have tool for any pastor or group leader looking to further develop groups in their community.Much thought and care has been given to translate the research data into practical understanding and application.This book is more than a one-time read, it will be a resource for any group leader or pastor to regularly revisit as they continue their small group journey.
founder of The Groups Conference.
Unlock the secret to leading healthy and growing small groups. This book is the intersection where real-life research meets practical application. Engaging and insightful, the principles laid out provide substantial benefit to anyone passionate about cultivating groups. Glean the best practices from numerous voices in the world of small group ministry and use those learnings as a map to think deeply about charting the course.
pastor at Alexandria Covenant Church
Leading Small Groups that Thrive is fantastic and lives everybit up to the title! This is a book I will be getting in the hand of our group leaders as soon as possible.
community director at Hoboken Grace Community Church
Leading Small Groups That Thrive is a gold mine of Biblical and grass roots insights for small group leaders. It exudes a freshness from the personal experiences and testimonies of the authors and guest contributors.Of all the resources I have encountered in over 30 years of ministry in this area, this work stands extremely tall. Leaders will find ideas that will enable them to help their groups grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord.
Dr. Gerhard (Gary) Bussmann
professor emeritus at Lincoln Christian University
My deepest spiritual growth has come from thriving small groups. Surprisingly, this book challenges my assumptions of why certain groups thrived and others, though enjoyable, produced little fruit. As I step into a new leadership role, I’m inspired to apply these practical tools: questions and shifts, to maximize our team and spiritual fruit.
president of Bethel University and retired executive